The term ‘Autism’ was first announced in a paper published by doctor Leo Kanner in 1943 to describe children who are socially isolated. Their characteristics are loneliness, frequent repetitive behavior, sensitive to details, and social isolation. The lack of proper response to behavior – these characteristics have gradually become the stereotype of people with autism. Unfortunately,the author of this book, Temple Grandin, was born in 1947, which diagnosis and research of autism was still not mature. Glan Ting’s mother took her to see a neurologist because she observed that her daughter’s behavior was different from her peers, including not speaking, being sensitive to physical contact, and being fascinated by rotating objects. After claiming that Grandin was a “quirky little girl,” she was diagnosed with a brain injury and introduced to a speech therapist. However, when people understood psychology more, they realized that it was a completely wrong diagnosis.
If Temple Grandin was born 10 years later, the diagnosis would likely be very different. Neurologists or Clinical psychologists would say her symptoms are affected by psychological factors. It is quite a pity that she was not officially diagnosed with autism until she was 40 years old.
Most of the diagnosis of autism is based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) in the society today. However, the media always exaggerates or relegates people with autism as a genius or people having mental disorders who create problems for the society. These improper reports often cause misunderstanding in the general public. Actually in reality, autism is a developmental disorder caused by impaired brain function. That is why their logic, perception, and personality traits are different from ours.
If we regard autism as a kind of personality trait but not heterogeneity in society, and do not hold the belief that these traits are diseases which must be changed and should be cured, perhaps we can respect each other more and understand each other more, a mile to a smile.
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